And that is not (merely) my opinion. It is the view of Antonio Rodriguez:
More specifically, three events in 2011 burned it [Android success] and we’re now holding on to a charred corpse that is quite different: an Android so splintered that it will make the glass on your Galaxy Nexus S2 Prime Pie dropped on concrete look like an ice skating rink.
The three events: 1. Google buying Motorola and alienating all of the tier one handset makers (none of which to this day have the spine to state it publicly but all of which have now come up with their “plan B”), 2. Microsoft extracting licensing fees from these same handset makers in the form of IP indemnification and 3. Amazon shipping a wildly successful, yet unidentifiable, version of an old Android build over the holiday… and making it a wild success. Of the the three, #1 was completely avoidable but the other two may just have been the name of the game when there is so much at stake in the fight of who paints the interface for the next generation of computing.
It not a particularly well-kept secret that when WebOS was in its death spiral, HP would happily pay developers to port any application which had shown traction to their platform. To my knowledge the Android tier one handset guys have not done this yet, but given a little time it may become a reality. There will still be all sorts of headaches involved, and you might be better off taking the love from Microsoft, but in a world of several warring Androids, you are the scarce commodity. Though the more popular splinters such as Amazon’s will likely never have to pay for developers, especially given the fact that with only one Christmas under their belt, they are already outperforming the standard Google Market in terms of downloads for some app categories, the rest will, probably in inverse proportion to how valuable they will be to getting you users. And in the meanwhile consider them non-dilutive equity financing sources.
Read the entire piece. Not good news for Android, but he promises another post on iOS which is said to provide warnings for that side as well.
I think he is onto something with a very clear explication that goes beyond the typical “Android as a platform is splintered” claims that many make.
And there is this:
The iPhone 4S, along with cheaper older models, has helped Apple close the distance on Google’s Android, drawing within a few percentage points in recent smartphone sales market share in the U.S., according to the NPD Group. In a CES telecom fact sheet, the research firm said that iOS has zoomed up to 43 percent of sales in October and November, compared with 26 percent in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Android’s share dropped from a high of 60 percent in the third quarter to 47 percent in October and November.
By the way, the same NPD survey said the top three phone models were the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS.
Whatever you think about the above, one thing is clear: RIM is not the walking dead. It is the inert, immobile, and truly dead.
There are exciting, nail-biting day ahead for investors, my friends.
Disclosure: I am long APPL.
- Will fragmentation kill Android? There’s money in fragmentation… (zdnet.com)
- Starting to Worry About Google’s Motorola Deal? (blogs.wsj.com)
- As Samsung starts to dominate is Android’s promise of ‘open’ under threat? (theequitykicker.com)
- Welcome to Samsung v Google (guardian.co.uk)
- Latest Android financials show it’s a Samsung game (zdnet.com)